The Nation’s Largest African American Video Oral History Collection Mobile search icon Mobile close search icon
Advanced Biography Search
Mobile navigation icon Close mobile navigation icon

John Finney

Share on Social Media

Information about John Finney

Profile image of John Finney

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
Occupation(s):
Nonprofit Executive

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Shrimp Creole And Rice
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Washington, D.C.
Favorite Quote:
If You Don't Do It, It Won't Get Done.

Birthplace

Born:
10/31/1938
Birth Location:
Savannah, Georgia

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
Occupation(s):
Nonprofit Executive

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Shrimp Creole And Rice
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Washington, D.C.
Favorite Quote:
If You Don't Do It, It Won't Get Done.

Birthplace

Born:
10/31/1938
Birth Location:
Savannah
See how John Finney is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Nonprofit executive John Finney was born on October 31, 1938, in Savannah, Georgia to Ellis Finney and Margaret Maynor Finney. Upon his graduation from Savannah’s Alfred E. Beach High School in 1957, Finney worked as a medical assistant at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. He later returned to Savannah, where he began his studies at Savannah Stage College. Following his service in the Vietnam War, Finney earned his B.S. degree in sociology in 1967. He went on to receive his M.A. degree in sociology from Clark Atlanta University in 1971.

Finney worked at the NAACP Youth Council, Savannah Branch under the mentorship of Savannah civic leader and historian W.W. Law in the mid-1960s. Finney also worked at the segregated Memorial Medical Center in Savannah and then joined The Economic Opportunity Authority for Savannah-Chatham County Area, Inc. (EOA) in 1967. In 1972, Finney became the acting executive director of the EOA. He and local ministers organized a lunch program in memory of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., which inspired the founding of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Observance Day Association. Finney was named the executive director of the EOA the next year, and served in this position until his retirement in 2017. During his tenure as executive director, Finney oversaw the development of Curtis V. Cooper Primary Health Care, Inc., which served the neighborhood of Woodville in Savannah, Georgia. He also partnered with the United Way to develop a clinic for sickle cell patients at Savannah’s Memorial Health University Medical Center; and provided a range of social services, including the housing facilities of the Tom D. Austin House, the Duffy Street SRO Homeless Shelter and the Peeler House. In the 2000s, Finney organized a program to educate community members about natural gas utility deregulation.

In addition to his work with the EOA, Finney served on the board of the Youth Futures Authority. He was involved in area healthcare initiatives like the Community Cardiovascular Council of Chatham County, Inc. and also worked with the Rape Crisis Center of the Coastal Empire and the Chatham-Savannah Voluntary Action Center, Inc.

Finney’s wife, Gwendolyn Young Finney, passed away on July 1, 2015. They had two children; Jondrea Finney and Sharyn Finney.

John Finney was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 11, 2017.

See how John Finney is related to other HistoryMakers
Loading...
Click Here To Explore The Archive Today!
  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of John Finney's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - John Finney lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - John Finney describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - John Finney describes his maternal grandparents' education
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - John Finney describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - John Finney talks about how his parents met
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - John Finney describes his earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - John Finney remembers the Maple Street School in Savannah, Georgia
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - John Finney describes his teachers at Beach Cuyler Junior High School in Savannah, Georgia
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - John Finney talks about his extracurricular activities
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - John Finney describe his neighborhood in Savannah, Georgia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - John Finney describes the demographics of his neighborhood in Savannah, Georgia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - John Finney describes his home in Savannah, Georgia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - John Finney lists his siblings
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - John Finney remembers developing an interest in basketball
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - John Finney remembers vacations and field trips
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - John Finney recalls his early aspirations
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - John Finney talks about Alfred E. Beach High School in Savannah, Georgia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - John Finney remembers joining the NAACP Youth Council in Savannah, Georgia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - John Finney describes his influences at Alfred E. Beach High School in Savannah, Georgia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - John Finney remembers Ella P. Law
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - John Finney remembers his senior prom
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - John Finney describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - John Finney describes his summer activities
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - John Finney recalls working as a medical assistant in New York City
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - John Finney recalls the civil rights demonstrations at Savannah State College in Savannah, Georgia
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - John Finney remembers serving in the Vietnam War
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - John Finney reflects upon his military service in the Vietnam War
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - John Finney describes the integration of public accommodations in Savannah, Georgia
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - John Finney remembers W.W. Law and Hosea Williams
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - John Finney talks about the difference between riots and demonstrations
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - John Finney talks about his experiences of racial discrimination in the workplace
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - John Finney recalls the integration of the Memorial Medical Center in Savannah, Georgia
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - John Finney remembers his graduation from Savannah State College in Savannah, Georgia
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - John Finney recalls his start at the Economic Opportunity Authority for Savannah-Chatham County Area, Inc.
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - John Finney talks about the anti-poverty efforts of the Economic Opportunity Authority for Savannah-Chatham County Area, Inc.
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - John Finney talks about the development of Curtis V. Cooper Primary Health Care, Inc.
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - John Finney describes his memorial initiative for Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - John Finney describes his memorial initiative for Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., pt. 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - John Finney talks about his educational program on gas utility deregulation
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - John Finney talks about the housing program at the Economic Opportunity Authority for Savannah-Chatham County Area, Inc.
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - John Finney talks about his support for sickle cell disease patients
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - John Finney describes his board memberships
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - John Finney talks about the social work program at Savannah State University in Savannah, Georgia
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - John Finney describes the Georgia Community Action Association
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - John Finney talks about his plans for a multicultural coalition in Savannah, Georgia
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - John Finney talks about his family and faith
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - John Finney remembers his fortieth wedding anniversary
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - John Finney reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - John Finney describes how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - John Finney recalls a lesson from his childhood
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - John Finney talks about his faith
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - John Finney narrates his photographs